If you're feeling hungry in between meals then it can often be really difficult to find a healthy snack which isn't a piece of fruit or some carrot sticks. And it can be even harder to find a healthy snack which actually tastes good.
That's why Nakd bars are really interesting to us - these bars claim to be a healthy alternative to something like a chocolate bar, but also claim to be really tasty. We definitely think that they taste good, but are Nakd bars actually healthy? We decided to take a close look at these bars to find out, let's get into it:
What are Nakd bars made from?
There are currently 14 different varieties of Nakd bars within the original range, so the recipe of each bar does vary a bit depending on what bar you look at. But the bars all contain many of the same ingredients. Every variety of the original Nakd bars contains dates, with every bar containing more than 40% dates in the recipe. Most of the bars actually contain more than 50% dates in the recipe and have dates as the main ingredient in the recipe, but there are a few notable exceptions - the Cocoa Orange variety contains 40% cashews and 40% dates, the Cashew Cookie variety is the only Nakd bar which doesn't have dates as the main ingredient, as it contains 51% cashews and 49% dates.
As well as dates, every variety of Nakd bar also contains nuts, but which nuts are used depends on the variety of Nakd bar you look at. Most of the sweeter bars such as Blueberry Muffin and Lemon Drizzle use a mix of almonds and cashews, whereas the bars which aren't as sweet seem to just use cashews, such as Berry Delight. There are also a few bars which use peanuts, such as the Peanut Delight bar.
There are no artificial ingredients used in any of the Nakd bars, and there is no added sugar. Also, all of the ingredients used are raw. So as you can see, the ingredients in each of the original Nakd bars are really straightforward.
What are the nutritional statistics of Nakd bars?
As you can see from the previous section, the ingredients can vary quite a bit depending on what type of Nakd bar you look at, so the nutritional statistics can vary quite a bit too. But first of all, let's take a close look at dates as they are the main ingredient in almost every original Nakd bar.
Dates are a very sweet fruit, and including dates in the Nakd bars recipe is a clever idea as they can provide sweetness without the need to add any sugar. But dates themselves are also high in naturally occurring sugar, with most varieties of dates containing about 55g of sugar per 100g. To put that into perspective, Pink Lady Apples which are famed for how sweet they are only contain about 11g of sugar per 100g, so dates are on an entirely different level.
This high sugar content is reflected in the nutritional statistics of Nakd bars - a 35g Lemon Drizzle Nakd bar contains 17.7g of sugar. This is actually more sugar than you'll find in a 35g bar of Cadbury Darkmilk.
So although there is no added sugar in Nakd bars, there is quite a bit of naturally occurring sugar from the dates.
Dates are also high in calories, so a number of the Nakd bars are surprisingly high in calories. Looking at the Lemon Drizzle variety again, a 35g bar contains 133 calories, which is 1 more calorie than you'll find in a 35g Grenade Lemon Cheesecake bar.
Dates do have a lot of benefits though - they're very high in fibre, which not only helps to fill you up but also helps your body with a number of different functions.
They're also packed with energy, so if you're off on a long walk then bringing a few Nakd bars along with you is a great idea.
Things get better when you look at the varieties of Nakd bars which contain nuts as the main ingredient - for example, the Cashew Cookie variety. Although the bar is high in calories with 155 calories per 35g bar, it contains a lot less than sugar than the Lemon Drizzle variety, with only 13.7g of sugar per 35g bar (4g less than the Lemon Drizzle variety). We still found the bar to have a nice sweet taste too. On top of this, the Nakd bars which contain a higher percentage of nuts have the added bonus of being quite high in protein - you'll find 3.5g of protein in a 35g Cashew Cookie Nakd bar, which is quite a lot for such a small bar.
Another positive of the Nakd bars is how low in fat they are - we expected the Peanut Delight variety to be quite high in fat because of the peanuts, but each 35g bar only contains 1.4g of fat. For reference, the 35g Grenade Lemon Cheesecake bar contains 5.6g of fat, 4 times more fat.
Anything else to mention?
It’s worth mentioning that there are a few other varieties of Nakd bars that you can buy which are slightly different from the standard variety.
For example, you can buy Nakd Protein Bars (pictured) which have slightly different ingredients to the standard Nakd bars. They’re still predominantly made from dates, but they also contain more nuts than you’ll find in standard Nakd bars. This means they contain more protein (hence the name), but also means that they’re higher in calories. But the main positive of these protein bars is that they're much lower in sugar compared to the standard Nakd bars - the Caramel Nakd protein bar contains 11.8g of sugar per 45g bar, which is almost 6g less sugar than you'll find in the 35g Lemon Drizzle Nakd bar from the standard range.
It's also worth mentioning that Nakd bars are totally free from any gluten, wheat, or dairy products.
So, are Nakd bars healthy?
Overall we'd say that if you're looking for a low calorie or low sugar snack then most of the original Nakd bars can't really be described as a healthy choice, but the protein Nakd bars are a much healthier choice as they're significantly lower in sugar.
But if you're not concerned about the sugar and calorie content then we'd recommend eating Nakd bars, especially as an alternative to something like a chocolate bar. They're all natural without any rubbish added ingredients, they're packed with goodness, and they're very tasty.
What do you think of Nakd bars? Would you describe them as a healthy snack? Let us know in the comments!